Thursday, May 05, 2005

Colombia hands over US soldiers

This news is really depressing. That's all I have to say.

Colombia has handed over to the US two American soldiers suspected of trafficking weapons to paramilitaries.

The United States said the allegations were "extremely troubling" and would be investigated fully.

Colombian authorities said they found 31,000 rounds of ammunition when they arrested the two men at an apartment near Bogota on Tuesday.

Hundreds of American soldiers are in Colombia to help in the fight against paramilitary groups and the drug trade.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Colombia hands over US soldiers

Update: The LA times mentions that this is not the only trouble that US soldiers have caused.
The arrests come on the heels of the March 29 detention of five GIs suspected of smuggling 35 pounds of cocaine to El Paso on U.S. military aircraft from the Apiay military base in Colombia's Meta province.

That episode touched off a political firestorm in Colombia because the five soldiers have diplomatic immunity and will be prosecuted in the United States rather than here. One soldier has been released for lack of evidence; the other four remain in U.S. custody.
The NY times chimes in with a third incident:

Colombians are still seething that James C. Hiett, the former Army colonel who ran the American military mission here, was sentenced to just five months by a Brooklyn court in 2000 for failing to report that his wife had been smuggling heroin from Bogotá to New York in diplomatic pouches.


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